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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU Chair, Czech v.Prime Minister, to EuroFora on Eastern Partnership: Ukraine has "Special position"

EU Chair, Czech v.Prime Minister, to EuroFora on Eastern Partnership: Ukraine has "Special position"

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 05 May 2009
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    Regardless of "Antonov" Airplane cooperation prospects, Ukraine has a "Special position" and "a Prominent role to play", "in the Multilateral part of EU's Eastern Partnership", while also keeping "its own system of cooperation with the EU", said EU Chairman-in-office, Czech vice-Prime Minister for EU affairs, Alexandr Vondra, in reply to "EuroFora"'s question, without denying Kiev's aspiration to eventually become in future also a Candidate to EU accession.


    Vondra, together with EU Parliament Foreign Committee's President, Polish MEP Jacek Saryuz-wolski, had just presented to Journalists in Strasbourg, the aims of the forthcoming EU Summit for the launch of the "Eastern Partnership" with 6 Countries : Moldova, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaidjan, at nearby Prague on Friday, May 8.

- "How does this fit with Ukraine's wish to advance towards an eventual EU accession in the future ?", asked "EuroFora".

 - "I think Ukraine is in a Special position, of course", the Czech EU Chairman in office agreed.

- "It has its own System of cooperation with the EU, so I would expect that Ukraine, as the largest country from the others, will be in the Multilateral part of the Eastern Partnership", he replied.

He earlier explained that its "Menu" will be composed both by "Multilateral" and "Bilateral" aspects and various "tools" from which each country could "choose".

- "I think we can rely on the Active Engagement of Ukraine, and certainly we shall have this... So, we expect the Highest Level participation, and, certainly I would expect Ukraine to have a Prominent role to play", Vondra added.

Vondra revealed, in his reply to "EuroFora", that he "was just talking with (Ukranian vice Prime Minister) Hrihoriy Nemyrya, in entering the (Strasbourg's EU Parliament) building" "We (Czech EU Chair) are working closely with Ukraine", he underlined.

During the last EU - Ukraine Summit, with Presidents Sarkozy, Jushenko and Baroso, of France, Ukraine and EU Commission respectively, the French EU Chairman on September 2008 in Paris had anounced EU's crystal-clear acknowledgement that Ukraine was unquestionably "un European Country" and offered an "Association Agreement". I.e. similar to those that former Central-Eastern European Countries had initially concluded before becoming, later-on, EU Candidates and ultimately EU Members, as Jushenko reminded then.

Paradoxically, Turkey, a mainly Asiatic country with an obviously different culture and grave Human Rights problems, including Military occupation, threats or interventions in neighboring countries, profiting from its Cold-War Past, snatched back in 1999 a controversial EU Candidate status, while Ukraine, a peaceful European country with historic European Culture and High-Tech industry, without equally grave Human Rights problems, has yet to struggle in 2009, to get a promise for a European perspective in future...

 - "Eastern Partnership is not a substitute to EU Enlargment", and "its' not directed against anyone, and, in particular, not against Russia, who doesn't wish to take part, and has other links to the EU, Vondra added.

An important boost to EU - Ukraine links, (which may benefit also to Russia), might be given not only by the well known Energy Transport issues (by Pipelines and/or Ships, via the Black Sea and Danube), could be given also in case of a cooperation between Airbus and Ukranian "ANTONOV's aircraft production capacities :

While Vondra found the "Time too short" to reply to a 2nd "EuroFora"'s question on a possible Airbus - Ukranian ANTONOV cooperation to build an efficient European strategic Military Transport Airplane, costing less, and being more efficient and timely than an old plan for a Turkey-sponsored "A400M"' plane, whose delivery has delayed and become uncertain, on the contrary,EU's Rapporteur on the 7th Scientific and Technologocal Research framework Program, mainsteam Polish MEP Jerzy Buzek, (ChristianDemocrat/EPP), a former Prime Minister, was enthousiastically positive :

 - "It's a very good idea, and I am sure that they (Ukrania's ANTONOV) would like to do that, and are able to achieve it", replied Buzek to "EuroFora"'s question whether he found more useful for European Countries to develop a more performant but cheaper Military Transport Airplane in a cooperation fex. between Airbus and Antonov, instead of waiting, again and again, for the old Airbus A400M, with its limited capacities, to be delivered from its strange and repeated setbacks and deadlocks in mass production, which were recently denounced even by a Report drafted by the French Senate..

Russia also had reportedly shown an interest in the past to cooperate with Antonov and EU countries to jointly create a new airplane, and this possibility might, eventually, be anew explored to satisfy the present European needs in the best way possible for EU's High Technology and funds.

Meanwhile, Saryuz-wolski indicated to "EuroFora" that, as EU Parliament will confirm this week in Strasbourg also by writting in a special Resolution, Eastern Partenship's Parliamentary dimension, "EuroNEST", intends to follow the example of the Union for the Mediterranean's Assembly, by bringing together 60 MEPs not only from the neighbouring but from all those interested among EU's 27 Member States : It's well known, indeed, that several other EU Countries have close links with the Black Sea area area, via big Investments, Ship transports, etc.
Meanwhile, Vondra is reportedly due to pass later-on EU's relay baton to a renewed Czech Government, his main successor expected to be the forthcoming New Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Jan Kohout.

Kohout, who is well known in Strasbourg from his earlier visits, has already stressed to "EuroFora" Czech Republic's wish to examine carefully Foreign Policy issues, while also boosting Renewable Energy sources, Modern Technologies, Education, etc, as key-tools both for EU's independence and security, and for enhanced cooperation with developing countries accross the World, and mainly in Africa and Asia.

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(+ New Czech deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Jan Kohout, replying to another "EuroFora" question at an earlier meeting in Strasbourg : 3rd, at the right side).
 

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    Before the end of 2009, France and Germany will take strong initiatives to open "new Horizons" needed by Europe and the World, going well beyond the current Crisis' management, anounced French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel, reassuring that both a judgement on Lisbon Treaty by nearby Karlsruhe German Federal Court, and the forthcoming National Elections in Germany would confirm their capacity to act.    

They were replying to Press questions in Berlin, after key-regional elections on Sunday, where Merkel's ChristianDemocratic party kept everywhere a strong 1st and won the possibility to forge a New Majority with Liberals at the largest of 3 Landers : Saxony (4 millions inhabitants), while its main competitor, the Socialdemocrat party fell to unprecedented lows : Tackled by the small "Linke" (left) party in Saarland (1 million inhabitants), it became even smaller than it in Saxony and Thuringen (3 million inhabitants), where SPD arrived only third. While its usual partners, the "Greens" also fell down, contrary to CDU's new partners, the FDP Liberals, who go up.

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    - "At any case, at the end of the year (2009), if things go as scheduled, we shall take strong initiatives, showing that Europe needs a Franco-German axis, as well as the World, even if it never excludes other" countries to join, replied Sarkozy to a question if France and Germany will revive the "European dream", by "relauncing the EU motor" for the Future, with actions going further than the mere management of the global crisis, (as it was done fex. in the Past with the creation of the "Euro" Monetary zone, etc).

    - "I am convinced that the Franco-German friendship must be constantly nourished by New Projects", he added."There are many areas of cooperation where we intend to take, very soon, some Franco-German initiatives, which will allow to open more Horizons" to the EU, Sarkozy stressed.

    But if "we don't speak about that now, it's only in order to avoid interfering in important elections coming in Germany", he observed. However, "we have already started to consider the Future with the (German) Chancellor, and what we can do in order to honour our predecessors". "We are already speaking about that, and we are preparing things". "I am working very well together with Mrs Merkel, and I wish that it goes on", Sarkozy concluded.

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    - "It's important for EU's credibility that France and Germany advance forward together", stressed Merkel from the outset. "Don't worry about Germany's capacity to undertake initiatives" with France, she added. "France and Germany will be perfectly able to make proposals" for the EU.

    -  "After-crisis" plans must be prepared, meanwhile, with measures "advancing progressively", Merkel anounced. And, for the short term, we must deal also with EU Citizens' dismay since they feel that it's a Scandal for some in the Financial Markets to be paid with excessive "Bonuses", etc, she agreed with Sarkozy.

    - "Abuses in financial markets must stop", stressed also Sarkozy. Backing Merkel's announcement that France and Germany call for an EU meeting to forge "a crystal-clear European position" in view of the G-14 Summit at Pittsburg, he warned that "everyone will have to undertake his responsibilities, in front of World's Public Opinion. particularly those who don't want to make the same effort of regulation as France and Germany".

    Moreover, "Global Trade cannot be correctly dealt, without taking into account also Environmental and Social rules", Sarkozy added, referring to recently expressed positions against Unfair Competition via Environmental and/or Social Dumping, (See earlier "EuroFora"'s publications).

    Such moves are obviously linked to the need to ensure at least an elementary respect for Human Rights by Third Countries, (f.ex. exploitation of Children's work, etc) in order to avoid, precisely, any such Social Dumping.

    - "EU has Values, protecting Human Rights and Human Dignity", and "it cannot close its eyes" in front of grave violations, particularly "Torture and/or killings", added, indeed, Sarkozy.

    Thus, "the time comes, where decisions must be taken". But, in case of "Sanctions", "all International opinion should be convinced of the need to take action", he observed.

    Expressed on the occasion of recent developments in Iran, the same principles should logically apply also to other similar cases, including fex. that of Hundreds of ECHR judgements' condemning f;ex. Turkey for grave crimes, (as Torture, brutal Killings, Enforced "Disappearances", Destruction of Family Homes, harassments and oppressive violations of Freedom of Speech, etc).

    Meanwhile, questioned on (EU Commission's chair)  Barroso's bid to succeed himself for a second mandate, they both expressed a "wish" or a "feeling" that "EU Parliament"'s various political Groups might fix a date for decisions "during September". However, is he is endorsed before the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, it will be legally necessary to re-vote anew for a full term of office afterwards, according to EU Legal Experts, revealed recently in Strasbourg the experienced former President of EU Parliament's Constitutional Committee, German Socialist MEP Jo Leinen. And Germany will not vote for Lisbon Treaty's ratification but only "on September 8 and 18", revealed Merkel, ( i.e. after EU Parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg).

    - Therefore, "for EU Commissioners' appointment, it's too early yet, because we must wait for the ratification of Lisbon Treaty" by all 27 EU Member countries, including naturally Ireland's Referendum on early October, said to "EuroFora" the influential President of EU Parliament's largest group of MEPs, Joseph Daul, expressing, however, the hope that a controversial deal with the head of the Socialist Group of MEPs, Martin Schultz of Germany, might hold for Barroso alone, at a forthcoming vote due to fix the Strasbourg plenary's Agenda.

    But MEPs reportedly just "postponed" for 1 week all their previously scheduled group meetings (See : http://www.euractiv.com/en/future-eu/barroso-unveil-summer-homework-week/article-184825 );

    However, while the choice of a new EU Commission's President by EU Parliament is supposed, according to many MEPs' wish, take place according to EU policy issues, paradoxically, this would mean that Barroso's bid would pass before even the anouncement of France and Germany's "initiatives" for EU's "new Horizons"...

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